Having been converted, the sons of King Mosiah felt a strong desire to preach the gospel to the Lamanites. After inquiring of the Lord and receiving an assurance that they would be blessed with success and protection, Mosiah allowed them to go. At this same time, Mosiah was working to care for the sacred records that had been entrusted to him. He translated the Jaredite records and then conferred all the records upon Alma the Younger. Because his sons had declined the opportunity to be king, he instituted a system of judges as the new form of government in the land.
Before class, write the following statements on the board:
To begin class, ask students to use the statements on the board to silently evaluate themselves. Have them use a rating scale of 1 to 10, with a rating of 1 indicating that the statement does not describe them well and a rating of 10 indicating that the statement describes them extremely well.
After sufficient time, ask:
How do you think Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah might have rated themselves on this scale before they saw the angel?
How do you think they might have rated themselves on this scale after they saw the angel?
As students study Mosiah 28 today, invite them to look for truths that help them understand how they can increase their desire to share the gospel with others.
Ask two students to take turns reading aloud from Mosiah 28:1–4. Invite the class to follow along, looking for why the sons of Mosiah wanted to preach the gospel to the Lamanites.
Which words or phrases in these verses help us understand why the sons of Mosiah wanted to preach the gospel to the Lamanites?
Which phrases in Mosiah 28:1–4 show how much the sons of Mosiah had changed?
Why had the desires of the sons of Mosiah changed? (They had exercised faith in Jesus Christ, repented of all their sins, and become converted [see Mosiah 27:34–36]. You may also want to refer to Mosiah 28:4 to point out how the Spirit of the Lord influenced them.)
What principle can we learn from these verses about the relationship between the depth of our conversion and our desire to share the gospel? (Summarize students’ answers by writing the following principle on the board: As our conversion deepens, our desire to share the gospel increases.)
Ask a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Invite students to consider writing this statement in the margins of their scriptures next to Mosiah 28:1–4.
Invite students to ponder how their desire to share the gospel with others has increased as they have grown closer to the Lord.
What experiences in your life have led you to want to share the gospel with others?
You may want to explain how you received the desire to teach the gospel to others. As you do so, consider sharing your testimony that as we become more deeply converted to the Lord, our desire to share the gospel with others increases.
Invite students to read Mosiah 28:5–8 silently, looking for why Mosiah let his sons go on such a dangerous mission.
In answer to Mosiah’s prayer, what blessings did the Lord promise Mosiah’s sons?
Invite a student to read Mosiah 28:10 aloud. Ask the class to look for a problem the king had when his sons left on a mission.
What problem did Mosiah face? (He needed to find someone to take his place as king.)
Summarize Mosiah 28:11–19 by explaining that Mosiah, in his capacity as a seer, translated the record of the Jaredites—the plates that had been found by the group that King Limhi had sent to find the land of Zarahemla (see Mosiah 8:7–9).
Ask students to read Mosiah 28:20 silently, looking for whom King Mosiah entrusted with the sacred records in his possession.
Who received the sacred records?
Invite students to raise their hands if they would like to be a king or queen. Ask the students who raised their hands to describe what benefits they would experience from being a king or queen.
Ask a student to read Mosiah 29:1–3 aloud. Invite the class to follow along, looking for whom the Nephites wanted to be their king.
Whom did the people want to be their king?
What stands out to you about the sacrifice the sons of Mosiah would make so they could preach to the Lamanites?
Summarize Mosiah 29:4–10 by explaining that King Mosiah was concerned that the appointment of a new king could lead to contention and even war.
Invite a student to read Mosiah 29:16–18 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for problems an unrighteous king could cause.
According to these verses, what problems can unrighteous kings and leaders cause?
Explain that King Mosiah, seeking to prevent the problems he discussed, proposed that the Nephite government should no longer be administered by a king. Instead, he recommended a system of judges, with the judges chosen by the voice of the people. You might point out that Mosiah had just translated the Jaredite record where he learned that millions of Jaredites had died in a war between two nations ruled by kings.
Invite students to read Mosiah 29:11, 25 silently, looking for how the judges were to judge the people.
How were the judges to judge the people? (“According to the commandments of God” and “according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers.” You may want to point out that they were also to judge the people according to the law Mosiah had given them [see Alma 1:1], and that the lower judges and higher judges were to judge one another as needed to ensure that righteous judgments would be made [see Mosiah 29:28–29].)
Write Mosiah 29:26–27, 30–34, 37–39 on the board. Divide the class into pairs. Have students search these verses and look for the people’s responsibility in the government proposed by King Mosiah. Then have each partnership discuss the following questions. (You may also want to write these questions on the board or provide them in a handout.)
According to King Mosiah, what benefits would come through making decisions by the voice of the people?
What consequences would come if the voice of the people chose iniquity?
After sufficient time, invite a few students to report how they answered the first question. Their responses should include the following: Mosiah said that the voice of the people generally does not desire things that are “contrary to that which is right” (verse 26). He also spoke about the need for all citizens to share in the burden of their government and to answer for their own sins (see verses 30, 34).
Invite a few students to report how they answered the second question. Their responses should include that the judgments of God would come upon them and they would be destroyed.
What principle can we learn from King Mosiah’s teachings in verse 27? (Students should identify a principle similar to the following: If the voice of the people chooses iniquity, then the judgments of God will come upon them. Invite students to consider marking this principle in verse 27.)
To help students identify another truth from these verses, ask:
In Mosiah 29:34, what do you think is the meaning of the phrase “that every man might bear his part”?
What principle can we learn from this phrase about citizens’ responsibilities to participate in their local and national governments? (Help students identify the following principle: Each person has a duty to uphold righteous principles, laws, and leaders. Invite students to consider writing this truth in their scriptures.)
What can you do to support righteous principles, laws, and leaders at this time in your lives? (Invite students to list their answers to this question on the board. You may want to refer students to Articles of Faith 1:12.)
Express your assurance that while not every country in the world has the opportunity to choose their own leaders, the Lord will always help those who trust in Him, no matter where they live.
Testify of the importance of each person “bear[ing] his [or her] part” (Mosiah 29:34) by seeking to uphold righteous principles, laws, and leaders. Encourage students to apply this truth in their lives.
Explain that Mosiah 29:40 describes the love that King Mosiah’s people had for him. Invite students to silently read this verse, looking for why his people loved him so much.
What phrases in this verse describe why King Mosiah’s people loved him so much?
How can Mosiah’s leadership serve as an example for leaders today?
Invite a student to read Mosiah 29:41–43 aloud. Ask the class to look for whom the people chose to be the first chief judge.
Whom did the people choose to be the first chief judge?
What resulted from his leadership?
Summarize Mosiah 29:44–47 by explaining that Alma (the father of Alma the Younger) died, as did King Mosiah.
Conclude by bearing testimony of the principles in today’s lesson.